For the majority of my life, I considered myself the least creative person on the planet. What changed that? In 2003, my very good friend, Marilyn Myers, taught me the basics of a new craft, beading. Very quickly I discovered that making beaded jewelry speaks to my soul in a way that no other craft ever has (and I’ve tried most of them!). In the ensuing months and years, I read every beading magazine and book I could get my hands on. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the designers who have generously shared their art in so many publications.
As I learned new beading techniques, I practiced them until I was relatively confident. Then a couple of years ago, it snuck up on me. Suddenly I found myself envisioning jewelry designs while I was in the shower, while lying in bed trying to fall asleep at night, or while riding my bike to my little bead shop. I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag, but I keep a sketch book these days to document ideas while they’re fresh.
At times, when I first envision a design, I’m able to clearly identify the source of inspiration, and at other times, ideas seem to come from out of the blue. Yet I believe that all creative ideas generally have a source of inspiration, even if we’re unaware of it.
I’ve had a design idea percolating in my head for the past several days, ever since I picked up this gift card tin at Dollar Tree:
Every design I envision expands on the polka-dot theme in multiple ways. I find it kindof interesting that my brain doesn’t focus so much on the palette, for example, but instead focuses on the pattern. I wonder why that is? I also wonder what process leads my inner muse to demand that I cut circle-shaped discs from the sheet metal of this tin, and use them as links or dangles. Why doesn’t she, for example, encourage me to cut a trapezoid shape that would be used as a pendant? Is it because I’m not creative enough? Is my poor, overtaxed brain stuck in a circular rut?
I also wonder if I would be equally inspired by a photograph of a handful of marbles scattered on the floor. What about a table full of cakes for the cake walk at a school carnival? My mother’s button basket? An advertisement for tires? What determines which visuals (or sounds, textures, tastes, or aromas) are destined to inspire a jewelry design?
Creative inspiration is still very much a mystery to me, albeit a mystery I enjoy the fruits of! I’d like to know what sorts of things inspire you as well as your thoughts on determining the source of creative inspiration.
Artbeads just announced a “What Inspires You?” necklace beading contest: http://www.artbeads.com/what-inspires-you-design-contest.html?cmp=smfb. They have prizes in two categories and entries are open through November 22, 2010. I’m really looking forward to seeing the entries and inspires other artists.
I hope your muse is with you, and that you have a very beadiful day!